Working For Free (But Working For Yourself)

from Seth’s Blog

Freelancers, writers, designers, photographers–there’s always an opportunity to work for free.

There are countless websites and causes and clients that will happily take your work in exchange for exposure.

And in some settings, this makes perfect sense. You might be making a contribution to a cause you care about, or, more likely, honing your craft at the same time that you get credibility and attention for your work.

But just because you’re working for free doesn’t mean you should give away all your upsides.

Consider the major publishing platforms that are happy to host your work, but you need to sign away your copyright. Or get no credit. Or give the publisher the right to change your work in any way they see fit, or to use your image (in perpetuity) and your reputation for commercial gain without your oversight or participation…

Now, more than ever, you have the power to say “no” to that.

Because they can’t publish you better than you can publish yourself.

It doesn’t matter if these are their standard clauses. They might be standard for them, but they don’t have to be standard for you and for your career.

Here’s the thing: you’re going to be doing this for a long time. The clients you get in the future will be the direct result of the clients you take today. The legacy of your work down the road will be related to the quality of the work you do today.

It’s your destiny and you should own it.

Freelancers of all kinds need to be in a hurry. Not a hurry to give in to one-sided deals and lousy clients. Instead, we need to be in a hurry to share our bravest work, in a hurry to lean into the opportunity, in a hurry to make work that people would miss if it were gone.

More here.

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31 Responses to Working For Free (But Working For Yourself)

  1. Jonathan Cavallone February 16, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    This short article by Seth Godin could not be more relevant to me as I am a college student. Godin explains how there are many companies who would be willing to take your work in exchange for the worker to gain exposure to a field. The saying time is money is true as there is a limited amount of time and you must make the most of your time. Working for free may not seem like the smartest investment of time, but people need to make sacrifices when thinking of the future. Most people think working free is stupid and a waste of time, but in reality, working for free in a field you are trying to gain experience with can prove to be very useful. In college, there are numerous different internship opportunities some of them being paid and others being unpaid. Typically, if a student has a decent amount of experience, the company will pay them quite nicely. Getting paid while gaining experience in a specific field is extremely beneficial because not only are you being paid, but you are also gaining experience in a specific field adding to your capabilities. Internships are the best way for students to learn how to do a job and use things they learn in school in the real world. However, if a student does not have any experience, and just has a college degree on their resume, an employer will most likely look over them. Some companies will offer unpaid internships to those who are less experienced. Most people would deny an offer to work for free because they feel it is a waste of their time. As a result, instead of gaining experience in a specific field for example, finance, a student would rather work at McDonald’s for nine dollars an hour instead of gaining knowledge. This is an extremely ignorant decision and does not factor in the long term. Smart people will always consider the long term effects of making a decision before acting.
    My father has explained to me how he has made it to where he is today, and he said the most important thing he did was his internships. My dad went to Montclair State for accounting and over the summer of his freshman year, participated in an unpaid internship at a small accounting firm. Sophomore year summer he was offered a paid internship at Rothstein Kass, and his junior year received a full offer once he passed the CPA exam. Without participating in the unpaid internship, my dad said he most likely would never have landed the internship with Rothstein Kass. He was named partner in his mid-30’s and now works for KPMG after KPMG bought Rothstein Kass. I have been presented the opportunity to potentially intern at the Summit Financial Group. I have a phone interview Friday and if all goes well, I will have a follow up interview face to face. It is unclear whether or not the internship will be paid or not, but regardless, if I am presented the opportunity I am going to jump at it.

  2. Andrew Imbesi February 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    Professor Shannon claims that by 2025, 50% of all workers will be freelance workers. I would like to think that the United States will reach this percentage over a longer span of time but it is better for me to be prepared for the worse. To me, freelancing is the best way to control your own outcome. Those commercials where they say “create your domain before it is too late” highlights the truth about freelancing: it is becoming more and more popular each year. There may not be another Andrew Imbesi in the world but I should take http://www.andrewimbesi.com, and Andrew Imbesi, LLC before it is too late.
    My friend’s father from Colts Neck has built up his own air conditioning company over the past few decades and has grown very successful by freelancing. I may not aspire to manual labor in my life but he is a true inspiration to me. My friend’s father has made a name of himself throughout Monmouth County by repairing and installing heating systems home-to-home and business-to-business. He has gone from looking for work to handling an overloaded schedule that is sometimes too much to handle.
    Now what makes me want to assume his role of being a successful freelancer? Well for starters, I aspire to be my own boss. I know I am capable of getting jobs done efficiently, especially when I work on something by myself. I always manage to perform well, and find myself taking pride in the work I submit. Nevertheless, I do not mind sharing my success but I do strive to complete tasks without help and by myself as best as I can. I want to work independently, not with someone looking over my shoulder waiting to give me more work to do. I need to apply myself somewhere where I know I can make an impact. I do not want to sit behind a desk and file taxes for people that have no relevance to me, I want to do something where people value my service the same way I value it. Why work my whole life doing something that I do not like when I can freelance and make a difference in something that I care about.
    I find myself to be a creative thinker, I am always thinking as if I am in a constant loop of thoughts. Class on Monday made me realize that if I am going to start my own business, it has to be online. The shift from an analog to digital world made me realize that if I want to make a big splash in the pond, going online is the only way that I can do that. Sure, I can open up a bunch of liquor stores around the state like Buy-Rite, but I want to be like Wal-Mart, I want to be everywhere. However, in 2017, it is impossible for me to be everywhere like Wal-Mart. These ideas have already come about so it is too late for me to act on the ideas that were already thought of.
    I need to be like Amazon. If I am going to come up with a business idea, it has to be online, where it is not too late to act. The recent discovery of the internet has not reached its full potential. To me, the rise in technology translates to humans moving towards a technological world. I need to network myself with someone who specializes in website developing. Even though I play around with free websites, I need to get a head start on developing something that will make me successful. Finding someone that could bring me to the next step will only bring me closer to success.

  3. John Zarro February 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    According to dictionary.com, a freelancer is a “person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.” Seth’s Blog explains how in today’s society free lancers have a voice and have a say in what happens with their work. To be exact the blog states, “Now, more than ever, you have the power to say “no” to that,” with the word “that” referring to whether the publishing platform can change, take away, or any other obstruction of the original work. Seth’s Blog continues to emphasize the importance of making sure that the reader understands it is their work and no one else’s. In class recently, Mr. Shannon explained how he believes freelancing will be the way people work in the future for many reasons based mostly around the independency factor.

    Stemming from the ideology of the audience believing their freelance work is their own, the blog states, “they can’t publish you better than you can publish yourself,” which I agree with. The cliché saying of “no one knows you better than you” applies here because it is true. No one knows me better than myself, therefore how would anyone be able to publish me better than myself metaphorically speaking. I know what is in my best interest and I know how my mind works. Mind readers are not a thing and neither is telepathy, but others can read body language well, therefor I see where people assume telepathy is a thing.

    The blog then goes into the future. By this, I mean that what happens in the future is a “direct result of what happens now.” Once again, I agree with this statement because it symbolizes simple cause and effect. For example, if I do not study I will have a poor grade in return. If the freelancer does not do what he/she is supposed to now, the future will not be bright because it is a direct result. With any career, in order to be where one wants to be one must do everything needed to be done in order to reach a certain goal. In life, there are no shortcuts. All in all, when something is easy it usually isn’t worth it and that’s something I’ve learned in my life so far being only 19.

    Lastly, which I do not understand, is the statement, “freelancers of all kinds need to be done in a hurry.” I understand freelancers need to hustle to get work done so they can move onto the next job, however that is not what Seth meant by this statement. Seth means that freelancers should be in a hurry to make work that people “would miss if it were gone.” I believe the “hurry” terminology references a race against time and a race to evolve at a faster pace. Similar to the race to the moon between countries or the race to have the best technology between various companies, the race to be needed is what freelancers strive to meet. The race to be needed is what Seth’s Blog means when saying that “freelancers of all kinds need to be done in a hurry” metaphorically symbolizing the competition to be needed across the freelancer market.

  4. Carl Hakansson February 16, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

    More than ever, workers are opting to enter the workforce as unpaid workers, whether it be as freelancers, writers, designers or photographers. For a long time, this field of work seemed very unattractive to people, as it offers no pay. Despite this, a lack of pay does not mean the work is useless. Unpaid work offers a great opportunity to make connections, get your name and reputation out there, and also perform meaningful work. Oftentimes, people will go where the pay is, and they remain unwilling to offer their services for what they feel offers no reward. Freelance work may seem like a waste of time, but those who are on the fence about this need to put their future in perspective. I feel as though freelancing brings out the best in some workers, since they manage themselves. The work is theirs and solely theirs; no one else gets a say in the work simply because they write the checks. For young workers, building your reputation now is key. You have your entire life to make money, and no one ever starts out at the top. The key is to create your own, original, best work that will help build your reputation and gain top clients right off the bat. As Godin said, “the clients you get in the future will be the direct result of the clients you take today”. Attract the better clients early on, to set the tone for the rest of your career.
    I liked the idea that Godin pointed out, where he said”…just because you’re working for free doesn’t mean you should give away all of your upsides”. In past years, freelancers were at the mercy of their employers, even if they were not paid. Often times, employers will not give you credit for your work, or they will sign away your copyright. They may even just use your work as a base and work off that. All of these things take away from the hard work that the freelancer has done and do not help the freelancer improve their reputation or their craft. Freelancing is such an honorable job because it is done with the intention of building a reputation and honing one’s craft, for little to no pay. When companies take advantage of this, the freelancers fall into a lose-lose situation, where they are not paid sufficiently and do not receive the credit they deserve. In essence, it is a waste of time. Experience is important, however it is more important to bring something with you once you leave a job, in this case reputation, if not money.
    Nowadays, I feel as though working for yourself is a fantastic way to get your name and your work out there. As I said, nobody starts at the top. Freelancing will not earn you the big bucks, but there is perhaps no better way to build your reputation and hone your craft than freelancing. You work for yourself, and publicize yourself with the image you want. This is how to make a name for yourself and your work.

  5. John Phillips February 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    In the modern economy, it is necessary to have a multitude of skills in order to find success. Specializing in one field is always great; but it just isn’t enough. Now, we must learn how to integrate things such as writing, technology, and marketing. These three skills are now essential for finding economic success. A major part of our economy is freelancing. These are people who work independently and are hired on a client basis. These independent contractors have a wide range of skills, that they use to help those who need these functions performed. An example would be a freelance programmer; they can build websites for businesses in order to builds their online brand. Such activities are so common in today’s society, and will only continue to grow.
    In the following article, the author gives a proposal of doing some work for free. I totally agree with this approach as it will help you build your brand, and establish your credibility, In using this approach you will be able to find your niche, and understand what skills you truly have. Doing this, will also help you learn how to work with clients, and communicate with them to build a strong network. You can use this strategy to gauge where you are as far as the capabilities you have. This means you can see how valuable your work is, and judge your market value based off experience. This article brings to light how incredible freelancing can be. It provides us with opportunities we never once thought were possible. You can use freelancing to build a network, make extra money, work on your own time, and most importantly find freedom. These things can help improve your life tremendously. The network you build will boost your brand, and lead to more job opportunities. These clients will refer you to their friends, hire you again, and most importantly help you out if you ever need it. As far as finances go, the possibilities are endless. You can make a living freelancing, or even make extra money to go on vacation. It does not matter wat our goals, are, they are possible. What I find fascinating is that you can showcase skills, and use those skills to help the overall societal good. There is nothing better than helping others, and improving society.
    The next benefit of freelancing is freedom of time. Your hours are flexible; you can work on your own time. Being able to choose which jobs interest you, is so refreshing. This complements the idea of if you enjoy what you are doing it won’t feel like work. That is the case here. You can use skills you have and enjoy, and turn those into a living. This model is so efficient and makes sense. I believe that everybody should build skills as a backup plan, in case they’re ever unemployed. I believe our economy will eventually become predominantly freelance. The benefits and overall upside of freelancing are undeniable. Personally, I hope to pursue such opportunities in my future. I believe building my brand, and gaining a wide range of skills is the key to success. People will eventually jump on this trend, and I believe it is essential.

  6. George Tannous February 17, 2017 at 12:29 am #

    Working for free is one of the easiest ways to express yourself and show future employers who you truly are. I really do not even see it as working for free because the monetary opportunities will come as a direct result of the work, reports, projects and research you put out for free. When you are working for free you have little need to be worried about the kind of work you put out or the length of your work. You also do not have to abide as much to company code. So one of the great things about volunteering or giving in your work for free is that you will be able to be as expressive and creative as you want, and in turn people and more importantly employers will get to see how talented you really are. This will lead to future employment or business deals based off of what you have done. Sometimes it is more tempting to go down the rout of getting paying work, but this is not always the best way to promote yourself. Your work for companies or private entities will never be seen as your work but as theirs and in turn this will limit your exposure. The main focus for people starting off in a field is to promote your name and get it out there. Whatever opportunity shows itself is an opportunity to build your name.
    We are transitioning into a world where each individual is their own business. It is no longer the same world it was where an individual works for a company for the rest of their lives. It is a time where you may work for a company temporarily but months later you could be free lancing and doing independent work. That is why having a strong name that is renown is especially important. One’s name is their strongest asset if used properly. Whatever opportunity yields exposure of you is one of the best for you.
    Godin then stresses that freelancers need to hurry. The future is going to be a majority freelance work. Luckily we are just transitioning into this era so the opportunities are widely available and competition in freelancing is not dense. Godin’s main point is to become aggressive freelancers. Seize every valuable opportunity when it presents itself and shun away from small deals that waste time. Time is our biggest asset and we must utilize our time as proficiently as possible. It is also vital that we work smarter with our time. The strategy is not to work as hard as possible, but to work as smart as possible. You could work from morning to night but this simply is not the way to go about it. It is now time for people to do whatever work yields the most value for your name and do whatever work possible to create a network with successful people. In the future in a freelancing world, having a network of people will be the most important asset anybody has.

  7. William Stuck February 17, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    This article by Seth Godin talks about the importance of doing what best helps your career as a freelancer. Freelancing is more prevalent than ever, so the timing of this article is appropriate. Godin says that you should use freelancing as an opportunity to show off what you are capable of in your particular craft. He says that most jobs like this involve the entity you are working for having a lot of control over you and what you create. They will be able to edit your work to their own discretion, use your image for commercial gain, or even remove your name from things and give you no credit whatsoever. We are told to stay far away from any offers with such restrictive terms. Deals like these will not benefit you in any way and, in most cases, would probably just be a waste of your time, especially if you aren’t getting any credit or they have the power to manipulate your work without your consent. Godin argues that you should turn such offers down and instead wait for things that will do your legacy good. He says that your legacy and reputation rely on and are based almost entirely on the quality of work that you produce. And if you’re doing something for free, then chances are you are doing it because you need the exposure. He says that what you can produce today will have a direct impact on what you are able to do tomorrow. So you should not compromise anything when agreeing to do work for somebody, especially if it’s for free. I agree with this entirely. There is no reason to agree to the terms of something that benefits you in almost no way. You should be more selective with the work that you agree to do, only jumping on an opportunity if it allows you to fully show off and get credit for just how talented you are. If you do all that you can to display how talented you can be (and more importantly, get credit for it) then Godin says that it will benefit you down the line. This is very true. Obviously, prospective employers who are in need of your service will take a look at your previous works to decide whether or nor they want to hire you. If there is no record of things you have done previously or your body of work is lacking in quality, or even edited in a way that you are not proud of then they might be hesitant to take a chance on you.
    Godin concludes the article by saying that we should share what we are most proud of and lean on every deal for more and more creative freedom. He also says that your goal should be to refine your skills to the extent where people would miss you if you were gone.

  8. Robert Seijas February 17, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    While the article about freelancers may be speaking more about graphic and web design type careers, this article is important to read for everybody due to the direction that the work market is moving in. More and more people are working freelance or contract-to-contract, instead of staying at one or a few businesses. This type of work allows for a people to better choose what they will be doing, especially if they have a wide variety of skills to share. The important thing that the article mentions is doing work in exchange for spreading attention and credibility around the professional environment. The main issue that I see with this is that there is not a large difference between this and internships.
    Working for free may not be a problem while people are living at home or in school, but it can be a bit more difficult while there is a need to pay for rent, loans, food, and much more. The difficulty to see here is that working without the extended level of exposure given would most likely mean a much lower paycheck. This again makes it difficult to live a real adult life, being that less money would lead to a stronger financial strain. This puts a lot of pressure on doing the free work, so that the higher paying job opportunities would be more readily available.
    Since the job market is moving closer and closer towards this freelance jumping setup, it is important not just for the graphic or web designers but everybody to pay attention to this trend as well as this idea of free work. The market is going to be more and more competitive, as this trend has continuously happened in the past. This will mean whoever has done more free work and has a more spread out network will ultimately get the job. Currently, it may be who has the most internships gets the job, but this can very quickly change to who has the most no pay freelance assignments. It truly is that same thing as an internship, as it focuses on skills and networking rather than work for compensation.
    The issue with the unpaid internship style of work is that employees may much more easily feel used and cheated. This is an obvious situation to arise from one having their work milked from them at no clear benefit. These negative feelings can very easily affect work satisfaction as well as quality, and can end up doing harm to this entire process. A professional cannot afford to put out anything but their absolute best work in this type of environment. This is an environment which which requires perfection and anything that can distinguish one professional from another.
    With the way that the work market is currently going, I see a very big problem with internships and their possible evolution into the freelance market. Working for free is not a viable option for most people, because everybody has expenses. Some people cannot afford to miss paying these, and others cannot manage working their way to higher pay while foregoing what is already available. In the end, unpaid freelance work is nothing more than an extension of the internship program that students go through during their education, and it holds many more negatives, whether in work satisfaction, work quality, or compensation.

  9. Lauren Burbank February 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    “Freelancing” was something I was always told to avoid. My parents believed it meant you couldn’t get “a real job” and lacked the discipline to commit. Obviously they are a different generation who flourished in a more traditional job market. Contrary to their beliefs, freelancing requires more commitment than any other job because there is no set structure to keep yourself in line. To be a successful freelancer, you need to know how to hustle, organize, and make the most of the resources available to you. You need to proactively market yourself and iniate all of the networking to propel you into future, better work. It’s a career of uncertainty, constant change, and a lot of sacrifice which is why the idea that it will be half of our job market within my lifetime is a bit overwhelming.

    As Seth noted, we have the ability to say no. There are times where exposure as compensation makes sense and times where it’s a matter of being taken advantage of. Learning how to tell the difference between the two and make strategic decisions is going to be a crucial part of taking on a freelance career. I would assume it’s like a game of chess, where you can’t just make a move during your turn, but instead you have to look at every possible outcome that move can cause and make sure you choose the one that best serves you down the road. It’s almost like looking at your goal and trying to create a path from it to where you are presently.

    I have two friends that are freelancers, one is successful and the other is not. The first one created her own event planning service, specifically weddings. She has a part time job at a florist shop because she worked out a deal with the owner that allows her to give her event planning clients discounts in exchange for her work at the shop. She networked at many vendor events, catalogued all of her local businesses willing to work with her and eventually created an online wedding e-zine which features vendors and clients she works with. She can afford all of her bills (including a mortgage on a house) and still live comfortably. While she doesn’t report to anyone and there is no risk of being fired, she puts in way more than forty hours a week to make this successful. She has all the creative freedom in the world and it’s what makes her happy, so I look at her as an example of how freelancing can be a wonderful experience. The other friend is a freelance tutor in music: piano lessons, voice lessons, & drum lessons. She is extremely talented in all three and she knows how to teach those skills, however she never took action to put herself out there. She never tried networking other than asking some clients for referrals and she puts more energy into two other part time jobs that she’s miserable with. I asked her why she doesn’t pursue the teaching job more and she said there’s too much risk in attempting to rely on it. I understand that sentiment because it’s exactly why I believed my parents for so long.

    Freelancing can only be as successful as you push for it to be. It’s a job where every detail reflects you and your efforts. To prepare for this type of job market, one should really sharpen as many skills as possible and learn how to successfully network because freelancing is impossible without those two things.

  10. Thomas Dellisanti February 17, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    With the ever-increasing popularity of freelance jobs, this article could not be any more relevant. Professor Shannon had spent some time in class talking about how many jobs in the near future will be freelance jobs. To businesses, this way of employment is extremely cost efficient and guarantees the best work from freelancers for their business. If any freelance workers start putting out average or poor work, they can be simply let go for someone with more expertise. Many jobs currently pay their employees by the hour, and they do not worry about putting out their best work. Since freelancers are working for “free”, they have to put their best work forward because they know that their competition is very serious.
    However, as Godin says in his article, working for free can actually be a great opportunity for people. It is a great way to market yourself and build a network of your own contacts that can eventually lead to a successful future. In order to remain successful, freelancers must earn it. When most jobs become freelance jobs, it will be clear who is the most motivated and who does not care or is lazy. Being a freelancer means having a lot of freedom on how to build your own image, which can cause certain people to thrive as well as leave many people without a job. The quote that stuck with me the most in this article is “Because they can’t publish you better than you can publish yourself.” In a world where most jobs will be freelance, how you create your own self-image is the most important aspect.
    The article also stresses that freelancers need to be urgently willing to be ready to share their best work instead of mediocre work and poor deals. I completely agree with the line that mentions that your work needs to make such an impact that you will be remembered for it even after you have left. Taking this kind of opportunity is exactly how to build your own self-image. If you put out work that leaves an impression on anyone, especially businesses, your work then become more appealing and in demand. Many people can submit mediocre or even good work, but only a select few will put out exceptional work. The few that put out exceptional work will stand out from the crowd, and along with marketing themselves properly, will thrive and become successful.
    As a college student, I think this article was extremely necessary to prepare me for the near future. I plan to do an internship in the next year or so, and this will help me learn and improve my skills in the business world. The internship is similar to working freelance because you learn certain skills in a business setting without being employed by that certain business. However, although my skills are very essential in the business world, it should not be my only concern. Marketing myself is just as important as improving my overall skills in the business world. Since the time of freelance jobs is approaching, I, as well as everyone in college or preparing to go to college, need to fully prepare for these times so we can make the most out of our opportunities.

  11. Alex Strom February 17, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    The workplace as we know it is changing drastically each and every day. This is due to the increase in demand of “freelance workers”. Freelance workers have no long-term commitment with the company that they work for, so if business is not doing too well then they run a much higher risk of getting laid off. However, on the other hand, if business is exceling, then the operator of that said company is going to have to hire more freelance workers. This new system that we are adopting as a society is both a blessing and a curse, and will be here before we know it. It is predicted that by 2020, half of the workforce is going to be freelance workers.
    Seth first starts out his blog by talking about different kinds of freelance work, which include writers, designers and photographers. These are some areas of freelance work that a person may not necessarily get credit for what they create with this work. Seth says “Just because you’re working for free doesn’t mean you should give away all your upsides.” For example, a company that wants to use a picture that you took may try and get the rights to that picture some way. We are now more than ever able to say no to this, because they cannot publish you better than you can publish you. If you want to start doing something that involves freelance work in the future, the customers you get now are going to be customers you will have in the future as well, because they will be your most loyal customers.
    Freelance work is a phenomenon that has not seemed to stop growing. In a recent study done in 2014, it was estimated that about 34 percent of the American population was a part of the freelance workforce. That is over 50 million workers, that is only going to grow. This is going to dominate the workforce in the future, because of how well it works for companies. If the company is going well, then all they have to do is acquire a few more freelance workers. Then they are keeping up with the increasing demand that happened from the success that the company is having. If the company is not having a great quarter, then they are able to even off those losses by letting a few freelance workers go so that company is able to recover. The idea of having freelance workers is very enticing for a new, upcoming company. A lot of new startup companies have had great success from the use of freelance workers. As a freelance worker, there is never going to be a lot of stability on your work life. If you think you have it great working at a company, they may get a loss and let you go like it is nothing. Sooner or later, another company will come and pick you up and bring you into their workforce when they are thriving, so it will not be the end of the world when something like that happens. It is a rough world which we are stepping into, so we must prepare for anything it has to throw at us.

  12. Zion McMillan February 17, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    This article from Seth’s Blog describes how big the freelance job market is, and the always-present opportunity to do free work in exchange for self-promotion. The catch is that historically in order for someone to further their career as a freelancer they would have to give up everything that makes their work original. That includes copyrights and the giving the employer the ability to change the freelancer’s work in any way they see fit. Additionally, they would have the right to cast your image any way they’d like. Essentially freelance work was an opportunity to get your name out there but retain no rights, which in turn diminishes the overall value of the work
    Seth Godin touches on a great point. The work that freelancers and even non-freelancers do will be on their resume for a lifetime. The potential clients these workers will have down the road are reflective of the work they do today, so it is not worth sacrificing the originality and quality of their work.
    As a college student this blog post caught my attention. Students are constantly caught up in the dilemma of needing a job but having no experience to qualify them for that job. More often than not this issue pushes students to make poor decisions in their work career, and sign themselves away to a company or organization that takes advantage of their skillset while getting away with not having to pay these new employees an appropriate compensation. If this is not the case, students often sell themselves short and settle for a job they are very overqualified to work due to the harshness of the workforce.
    If by 2025 50% of the workforce will be freelancers, things need to change. There has to be more of an incentive. With today’s current situation and the potential working situation eight years from now many people will aspire to be their own boss and work for themselves. Given the facts however, it makes sense. Godin suggests that no one can publish you better than you, and he is right. So if that is the case why not just promote yourself and keep the earnings.
    This article makes me curious as to how the freelance job market will be with so many separate individuals working for themselves, because that is surely where we are headed. On top of that, I wonder how freelance will combine with the increase in technology jobs. After discussing so much about the Internet of Things and how much of a role it will play in our daily lives in a short time to come, how will freelance intertwine? Will there be freelance jobs to create secure networks and security systems to safeguard the IoT? Will there be freelance jobs to catch hackers?
    The American workplace is taking a very interesting turn and it is very odd being at the center of it. As a college student approaching the start of a career, it is truthfully frightening to take on the work world with no real guide on the right way to approach this. The most we can do is project the curve and stay ahead of it.

  13. Frankie Lisa February 17, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Freelance work is becoming one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. There are many different types of freelancers such as website designers, writers, photographers, artists, etc. These types of freelancers are growing more and more popular because they can operate a lower cost than a firm.
    Almost every working American thinks he or she deserves to be paid more money, or at least wants to be paid more. Nobody wants to invest hours of his or her time and not be financially compensated. However, for freelancers, working for free may not be the worst thing in the world. One of the biggest struggles for a free lancer is marketing themselves. Since freelancers do not have the financial support of a firm to market for them, they have minimal paid advertising. Most of their advertising comes from social media, and more importantly their reputation. There are countless customers, who would take a chance on an unknown freelancer in exchange for free work. At first, this seems like a one sided deal, however the freelancer is gaining something money cannot buy, exposure. There are plenty of upsides of working for free. First, the freelancer gains more experience, and further masters his or her skill. Also, if you do a good job, you will gain credibility and attention for your work. This credibility and reliability boost is free advertising. Working for free when you start out can be seen compared to an internship for college students. Interns, especially in the business and medical fields, will do a lot of work for very little money. However students do not accept internships for the money, they become interns for the experience and networking opportunities. If you intern for a firm, it is very likely that you will be offered a job with that firm. The same goes for freelancers. You will often do multiple jobs for the same client. For example, suppose you built a website for a client for free. You did a good job building the website, and a few years later they need updates or improvements to the website. It is very likely they will call you again because of they great work you did the first time. You also expanded your network because that client recommended you to his or her colleagues.
    Also many freelancers enjoy the work they do. Many of them chose to freelance because they have a passion such as writing or photography, and they cannot sit in an office. To these freelancers, work is not considered work. Many of them are passionate the work they do, so even if they are not getting paid, they are still doing their favorite hobby or contributing to a cause they care about.
    Thirty four percent of the American workforce is comprised of freelancers. That is over fifty three million people. Freelancing is a rapidly growing, and extremely competitive field. In order to differentiate themselves, many freelancers will have to work for free in order to gain experience, credibility, and networking opportunities.

  14. Hakim Felder February 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

    I am just going to start with, “nothing is free in this world.” I find it a very illogical way of thinking that. Think about it, for example, school. No matter what level you are currently at during this time you go to school to get an education. Schools can be classified into two distinct categories; public or private. Private schools are much more expensive than public schooling. But public schools are more social because of the population that inhabits it. Private schools are a lot smaller, they are more diverse in a way. However, the social circle is not as enormous as it would be for public schooling. Going back to the question in schools, during your tenure in school there is a certain amount of time you spend there. It is a sacrifice for academic success. In a high school, you spend approximately 4 to 5 hours Monday through Friday until the summer. Maybe a little more if you partake in extracurricular activities in school. If you are in a public school, you are just sacrificing time and effort. However, if you attend a private school there is time, effort, and some money involved. The money being involved is given to the school out of your families pockets unless the individual has received a scholarship.
    I have really enjoyed going over the article by Seth Godin. He talks about working for free, this article has changed my perception of what free really is because it has allowed thinking from a different viewpoint. My first point on this is that how can something be work if it is your passion to take on this task. I want to make to the NBA. I feel like there is a sacrifice there must be paid before I can make my goals come into reality. I must work extremely hard and diligent to obtain this goal. It does not cost me a dime. It is work to survive a gruesome 82 game schedule but it is my passion so it will not really be perceived as it is. I feel like when Godin talks about working for free he means as in terms of economics. “Money makes the world go around,” in the article, he addresses freelancers, writers, designers, photographers saying that there is an opportunity to work free. They would exposure and experience of working there without being paid, just getting an improved fan support rating. However, nothing can be free because it requires time out a person’s schedule. In the life we live in you must give up something to get something out of it. You are basically working for yourself, improving and getting experience on how a job is supposed to run. Another thing that struck me was when he was explaining is how impactful they are. With this specific type of job, yeah it is like volunteer work, but the individual has the choice to say no to copyright etc. The individuals are the ones making the inventory for the job so it is understandable that they have this say. The only thing to be aware is that people can take your ideas and make them into better new improved models which saddening.

  15. Erin Carunchio February 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    A freelance worker is someone who works when they want or can. They do not have a set schedule. They work by the hour, day or even job. Some jobs of that include freelance working is web designing, writing, blogging and performer. These jobs are not based on salary. With the job market in this world so demanding, freelance jobs are more common. Everyone is looking for work in today’s market. Freelancing is becoming more and more popular. The job market is always changing. 53 million people in the United States do not work the normal 9 to 5 job. They are getting their income from jobs like freelance jobs. Freelance jobs are the “new thing”. It provides people with more work opportunities in this competitive job market. However, it also has some consequences or challenges too.
    Freelancing has started about 20 years ago. Over the last couple of years, it has increased a lot. An example of a freelance job that is very popular and something that I use frequently is Uber. Uber is considered a freelancing job because people do it on their own time and do not work set hours. They also work for themselves. A percentage of what they make per ride goes to the company of Uber. Uber is an American online mobile transportation company that was founded in 2009. There is an app available for smart phones that allows you to call an Uber to drive you from your location to basically wherever you want. The driver and Uber gets paid from the credit card you link up to your account. No cash. However, with the pros of freelancing, there are some cons or challenges. Freelance jobs and employees are not allowed the create unions under the National Labor Relations Act. The National Labor Relations Act was crated in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers. People who work freelance experience uneven wages, little to no benefits, sometimes unpaid work and no employee protection because of the National Labor Relations Act. Some of these cons are because of the government. They do not realize the dramatic change of the job market. The work policies have been the same for many decades and will probably will not change anytime soon.
    Overall, I think that Freelancing is a good idea for people who need to make money. It is good for people who cannot find a job right now to continue to let them be on their feet. However, there are cons when it comes to freelancing. Since freelancing jobs cannot for Unions, then there is no job security and little to no benefits. I believe that the freelance job market will keep growing and improving. More common jobs will become more freelance.

  16. Filip Bizek February 17, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Working for free at first may seem quite negative if the topic is not expanded. As to every story we know, there are always two different sides to look at. In other words, a plus (+) does not exist without a negative (-). Therefore, in order to fully comprehend what Seth Godin is trying to say, we cannot just linearly read his post.

    First and foremost, working for free absolutely does not mean that an individual is not gaining anything in return. There are plenty of different forms of payment besides the monetary value. Let us begin with how knowledge can be more valuable than coin. For example, volunteer work at the hospital will give you unimaginable experience later on transmitted to knowledge which cannot be bought with money. Yes, the hospital is undoubtedly the financial beneficiary of such a symbiotic relationship; however, everything in life has its opportunity cost. Before I switched my major to finance, I was a volunteer at Hackensack Hospital every weekend. The amount of information drilled into my mind was unimaginable. Every day there was something new for me to learn from patients, doctors, and nurses. My work at the hospital was comparable to sitting in library for hours and learning from books. Therefore, even though the Hackensack hospital did not pay me for my services with money, they gave me something much more valuable and ultimately priceless.

    Furthermore, I always hear a lot of students complaining how some internships do not pay with money. Well, their form of payment is linked to experience and more importantly networking. In the modern society, networking is just as important as learning a new skill. What can a person do without a proper platform enabling him to put his skill in use? The answer is rather simple: absolute zero. Thus, an intern working at a firm is a very valuable investment, which may not bring profit at the beginning. However, successful people do not look for quick returns; it is the longer-term investments that bring the most profit.

    Later on in the article, Seth Godin talks about publication of free work leads to freedom from limitations imposed by the corporate businesses. This is where me and Seth completely disagree. Yes, it is undoubtedly true that working for privet companies synthesizes your work with its brand but it is not necessarily bad. In all honesty, I will not dedicate time and effort to something that does not bring me any sort of profit. I volunteered because it was a fair trade between me and the hospital. I provided assistance to the staff, and they shared their knowledge. I would sign up for the internship and not collect a paycheck because they help me build my network. Thus, I technically never worked for free. Of course, it is quite noble to do things without any expectations of repayment; however, such ideology cannot find its place in my current situation. I am an immigrant whose path to success is very narrow due to financial situation linked to middle class. I simply do not have time to do something extra for free. I have to always carefully look at where to invest my resources in order to ensure a good future for me and my family.

  17. Juan Landin February 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    Freelancing has been steadily increasing over the years. It was measured that approximately one third of the workforce in the United States are freelancers and that number is expected to grow. As stated in the article, working for free does not have to mean you have to give up your right to your work. In our society today, you have the power and resources so that you can reject anyone that tries to take your work.

    In the business world, there are ruthless people who seek to make the most amount of money no matter what. These people are whom freelancers look to when they want to sell their product or services. They believe that these people and companies are what they need in order to spread their work and make people remember them. This may happen, but they may also lose the rights to their work at the same time. Businesspersons can be very vicious, though this is why many of them are rich. Many times these freelancers are not very legally trained and will not know how to read a contract. When they bring their services or products to a business, they will usually sign a contract detailing the terms and clauses that are present for the duration of the time they are working for that business. If they do not know how to read this contract then they are basically going in blind. Businesses can include clauses in these contracts that if the freelancer knew of, then he would not agree to it. However, businesses are great at hiding these small details in the thousands or words and endless pages of the contract. Freelancers will, likely, not be able to or want to go through and read the contract. They will, most likely, not want to pay a lawyer to do it either because they can charge a lot of money most of the time. These factors deter the freelancer from thoroughly going over the contract and they might agree to terms that may hurt them in the end. These terms can be that the business owns whatever they create while working for that business, they can make any changes to the work as they please, or they will not credit the worker as the creator. In the past, this has often happened because the worker did not really have a choice if they wanted their work to be advertised over a large audience. However, in our society today, they have opportunities to do just that without having to give up control of their work. This is called social media.
    In our society today, social media has become an addicting habit for most if not all of us. People can post almost whatever they want and a large audience has the ability to view it. Most importantly, these sites will not take ownership of your work. This is why this can be an important tool for freelancers who wish to be free of big businesses. On social media, you can post your work for people to see. Those people will send it to people they know and so on. Next thing you know, your work has gone viral with very little work from you. This why workers need to be taking advantage of this tool. All they would need to do is copyright or secure ownership of their work and let the social media put them in the public eye. Workers are fortunate because they have a resource that was not available years ago in which businesses took a lot of work from many people.

    This may be just the beginning. Once they have the attention of the people, then they will more than likely be checking back to whatever new work the worker has produced. This happens because of increases access to this content. Social media has given people access to content that could not even be imagined before. This platform can allow someone to share their work in the fastest amount of time while reaching the most amount of people. As technology advances, so does the way that these workers can share their work.

    Overall, freelancing has and will continue to grow and become a common employment status in our society. This has been, in part, due to how easily it has become to share their work while maintain the ownership and credit of it. This comes from the power of social media.

  18. Derek Luckman February 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    This article is very interesting as it talks to idea of “not selling out”. It’s as if we have the option of taking the money, or staying true to ourselves, and our craft, or actually I should say the craft the artist be that a photographer, writer, whatever their platform is. It is a hard choice because we are basically taught that everything in this world revolves around money and that is the main goal, to collect money which in turn allow is to live more comfortably. But this is not the case for everyone. This is not the case for the person who respects their craft enough to not have it altered for a few dollars. This is not the case for a person whose passion is their work and they don’t do it just for the money. The thing about this person however is that they are not as frequent as their counterpart. Someone who considers their craft more than they do their pockets, is not a person you come by every day. In fact this person can be the person to have it all, but only if they are brave enough. You see this person has to believe in their vision and trust in it enough not to sell it away and have it altered. They have to be brave enough to invest in themselves and be able to get their work out as original as the thought the artist had in his or her mind. You see when you sell away your craft, valuing it for lower than what it is you’re actually letting your own self down, and selling yourself short. It comes back to the fundamental equation of supply and demand. If artist would stop selling their work for less than what it worth the demand would actually go up. There would be a shortage of pictures or stories or whatever the work is, going around and people would want it more, firms would want it more. This would cause a chain effect. One of the first effects would be that the firms may be willing to offer more money and also more freedom in the work. Another effect, is that the work would be appreciated for what it was actually meant to be. There would be more effects even stemming from this but the main point is that they would most likely be positive in the direction of the writer. The problem with this is that it would take the collective group of artists to all stick together and for none of them to “sell out”. It is only because of the people who willing to sell themselves short that give the power to forms who are dispensing the money, or publishing the material. I am person who is all for the preservation of artwork and this is because I believe that this is the true expression of a person’s mind, their thoughts and visions. It is because of this that I believe that freelance artist need to stick together in order to better their collective of people which would be positive for both them as well as us, the consumer.

  19. Sirina Natarajan February 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

    The dream of self-employment is something everyone in the work force has thought about at least once, but the crushing reality of making it happen always brings us back down to earth. The capitalist market encourages people to dream big, yet the cost and sensibility always strikes down the urge to start a business. There is also the issue of marketing oneself and being able to make oneself successful with big bucks corporations as competition. People always say how making a business in one’s own name and watching it prosper is the American Dream, but it is also a very risky one.
    The article suggests that maybe the more creative freelancers are able to find work if they do not charge for services, but merely ask for their clients to refer them to other potential clients. However, that is a very slow moving process, and referrals do not pay the bills. The creative freelance work is also, arguably, the most time-consuming as there is a specific idea the artist is trying to achieve. Designing a dress or finding the perfect angle for a picture requires more heart and effort than running numbers pro bono for an accounting firm on the off chance that one could be recommended for a job at another firm. Godin suggests that a person should not hurry to make more work, but to make more memorable work, but is that not already the point of opening a new business? To make a product that has not been seen before because it could make someone’s life easier? I think that by trying to be different just makes a freelancer another face in the crowd because everyone is trying to be different. I do think he is right in saying people need to make work that the consumer will appreciate and miss if it were no longer on the market.
    The hardest thing about working for oneself id making something that has not been seen before. To have that kind of creativity is something that should be capitalized on, but in the world we live in it may not be entirely possible. Sometimes it is easier to sign a contract with a major company and to have them handle advertising your services or even have them agree to use your services exclusively. Either way, I do not think that partnering with a large company is the worst step because at least your material is being put out there. Creative freelance people also know the importance of truly owning their own material, so for him to assume that just anyone would sign away their rights to their creation is a bit general and frankly untrue. I understand that his platform is to encourage people to go for their dream even if it seems so out of reach and impossible, but to be honest, sometimes it is nearly impossible and it just tis not likely for someone to pour all of their money and time into their abstract and wishful dream career.

  20. Benjamin Jaros February 17, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Seth’s blog this week is addressing the importance and value of our work. He is applying the logic of the age-old age, “Do not undersell yourself.” The new economic structure is trending towards freelance activities such as Uber and Air BnB. Moreover, in this blog he seems to allude to freelance writing, such as the writing found in the Odyssey online.
    If I am writer or a worker who specializes in some kind of online work that requires exposure for success, then I should not just submit my work to website under their standards for the sake of exposure. He contends that, “they can’t publish you better than you can publish yourself.”
    I do not necessarily agree. Take Uber drivers for example. Can I drive independent of Uber and market my own driving skills through my own app? Of course I can, but would I be as successful if I joined the extensive network that Uber has created in nearly every city/state in the country? Probably not. There are advantages of both. On the one hand, I would have the freedom to run “Ben’s Ride” how I want. On the other hand, I would get far fewer customers than if I submitted to the standard of Uber and drove for them.
    Now, this is not the perfect analogy for writing and this is why I agree implicitly with what he is saying. Unlike good driving, there is not necessarily a good standard for writing. I grant that proper grammar and verb use are standard for effective communication. However, there is a very present and real elemental creative style present in writing that is not present in driving (except for Jersey drivers).
    Therefore, if you as a writer have a “product” that is being substantively changed for the sake of exposure, I would agree with Seth in saying that you should leave and market yourself. An example from my own life would be writing for the Setonian. My work has been changed in order to fit with the editors “agenda,” further, they have also not published factual articles that contradicted their agenda.
    There is nothing I dislike more as an author than someone saying that the way I approach an issue is “wrong.” The way I approach the issue is what makes my voice unique as a writer. Further, in the articles I was not pushing an opinion, rather, I was presenting facts behind a reality that the editors did not want acknowledge. If facts make you uncomfortable, maybe you should switch career paths instead of pushing facts that you want to discuss.
    My closing comment is this; do not let an organization strip away your individuality for the sake of the exposure they provide you. In the freelance economy, selling ourselves short of the work we consider important seems to be the quickest way that we can end up unemployed. We would provide little real value to our employers because we would just become a name on their beliefs. In the freelance economy, sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves.

  21. Nicholas Thomas February 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    As technology improves and simplifies the number of people required for a specific job, the number of people employed by “the company” decrease. Today, the lifetime contract with a “the company” is nonexistent so more people are turning to freelancing. However, as Seth Godin points out, people are freelancing in a way that forces freelancers to sell their work for exposure. Granted this make sense because people need to build up a reputation, but I argue that Godin does not explain why people sell their work. To put it simply, people are scared they will not make it by freelancing. Freelancing is risky because one never has definite employment, so by selling one’s work, he or she feels as though he or she is moving forward. From my experience, freelancing has always been explained to me as too risky, “there is no money in it.” Fear causes people to act without thinking through their options. However, this is where Godin and I agree again, people need to start putting their own work out on the market because only those people are capable of fully representing themselves and their work. It is much easier to sell one’s work to some company, never receive credit, and then give up by saying “well, I tried.” If one is going to freelance, he or she has to put in the legwork himself or herself to form a network.
    By forming one’s own network through his or her own efforts, he or she is making that push forward to be successful because he or she is representing his or her own work, Godin describes this effort as “quality” work. I believe it is important to take note that out of any other words to be used, Godin chose “quality.” Freelancers are not made successful by the quantity of work or the exposure they gain by selling work; they are made successful by networking now because that network will grow over time to create a reliant client base. Quality work is not selling one’s name, skills, or work; people must sell themselves. Consumers do not care about one’s name, cause, or prestige; they want to know how that freelancer will benefit them. This is the problem with selling one’s work to a publisher or other companies; the exposure gained by from that company does not tell the consumer how the freelancer will be a benefit. Selling one’s self accurately allows him or her to network. The issue with networking from no client base is it requires a lot of work and people fear that work because there is no promise for success. Again, if the quality of one’s work is good and he or she represents himself or herself well, then one will taking the right steps to be “successful.”
    People want to be successful; however, freelancing does not promise success, depending on one’s definition of “success.” For example, in Lauren Burbank’s response she talks about her two friends who freelance and the differences in their success. The one friend networked from the start and continues to freelance, while the other did not properly network and has stopped freelancing. I would not define either of the friends as successful by their occupation today, but by the work they put in at the start of freelancing. The one friend networked and sold herself, rather then her work, by taking the risk, this is why I would call her “successful.” With the growing population of freelance workers, more people have to take the risk of selling themselves, not their work.

  22. Anthony Laverde February 22, 2017 at 11:46 am #

    I am a firm believer in the saying, “If you are good at something, you should never do it for free.” Freelancing is no exception to this rule; the only difference is the form of compensation. When a person freelances, or works for free in hopes of exposure and recognition, that person is counting on the payoff coming from future and recurring work. However, it is up to the freelancer to decide if the situation they are in will do them more benefit or harm. This means there is an absolute need to protect one’s brand, and understand the situation the freelancers find themselves in.

    This need for caution has caused many freelancers to try to control their situation and interactions. This had lead to the development of professional freelancing. This has allowed many freelancers to be paid for their work, and even dictate the stipulations of an agreement. Many websites have been created due to the overwhelming amounts of professional freelancers in the marketplace due to their demand. Many of these websites include Upwork, Toptal, Elance, and dozens more. These websites have made it extremely easy for many start ups and entrepreneurs looking for help from people with a specialized expertise find it for an affordable price. In many ways, freelancers are entrepreneurs in their own right, so it is only right that they play such a big role in the progression of entrepreneurial developments. Professional freelancers and entrepreneurs have incentive to work together because of the mutual benefit that comes from their collaborations.

    The creation of companies that use independent contractors, such as professional freelancers, has become the best of both worlds for both parties. For companies, such as uber, it has allowed the company to keep salaries and even health benefits off of their fixed expenses, electing only to pay them when work is needed, and never providing benefits. Although this method has caused much controversy, for uber especially, there is no doubt that this is very cost effective for these emerging companies. As far as the freelancers go, they have the freedom of working for themselves, and electing when they want to work. They get to choose their hours and dictate how much money they are being paid. The only downside to that which can be seen, is the lack of healthcare and benefits. However, that does not mean that the freelancers and companies cannot come to some sort of agreement regarding that issue.

    With the world becoming more an more intertwined with technology, it seems that the future of freelancing is promising. With new developments in drones and self driving cars, it seems companies are eager to get rid of constant salaries. This could lead to professional freelancers lasting longer on the job market than a conventional hired employee.

  23. Daniel Anglim February 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    Freelancing has becoming more and more popular, and it is only going to increase. As jobs become harder to find and technology becomes better more freelance jobs are going to appear. In the article, “Working for Free (but working for yourself,)” written by Seth Godin poses an interesting view on how an individual should carry out freelance work. To many people today are producing work for free. Companies are forcing freelance workers to give up their rights to their work for exposure. You can always work for free, people will take advantage of you if you are willing to provide work for no cost. These companies are taking advantage of others, and putting their names on work that they did not pay for nor made. This is absurd to me. I could never hand over something I worked hard on and let someone else take credit for it. Companies should pay these workers in something other than “exposure.” I can see this potentially getting out of hand. These large companies have leverage almost all people, making it nearly impossible to get your name out in the world without having to do some sort of freelance, especially if you are a writer or artist. Companies are going to realize they have a monopoly in these certain fields and make it impossible for anyone to produce work and get paid for it. Perhaps laws should be passed by Congress to change the current state of freelance workers before this trend gets out of hand. If you are a worker and do a job for an employer, by law they must pay you at least minimal wage. The same concept should be applied to freelance workers and the product they produce for employees. The government has been working on improving the minimal wage for workers, they should also look to change the freelance industry. If freelance workers got paid, then new jobs would be created. Large corporations are already making way too much money; instead of taking advantage of poor workers they should give these workers compensation. Freelance jobs are expected to grow rapidly over the next couple years, and these workers need to be paid for free. Similar to Godlin, I advise workers to not be so ready to give up their hard earned work for no cost. These workers should look to form a union to protect their rights as citizens. It seems that there has been last art and books recently. This is a result of freelance work. Many people choose not to get degrees in things that result in freelance work. This is a shame because majors like English use to hold value. No one is going to willingly go to school anymore, to receive a job that pays no money. I would have considered following my dream to become a writer if there was a possibility that I would be able to supply enough money to pay off student loans. Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible and the amount of these degrees is going to continue to decrease.

  24. Taylor Salomon February 23, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    Free. Ha! Over the past few years, I have learned little to nothing comes free in life. I indulge in free samples at Costco on Sunday afternoons and receive free t- shirts at Seton Hall for being a member of certain clubs and activities. Never have I ever heard of this article’s title: Working for free (but working for yourself). This sounds too good to be true. Then again, who would someone work for free? These people consist of freelancers, writers, designers, and photographers.
    Money is essential for paying rent, sending children to school, and putting food on the table. Without money, where will your source of income come from? Nowhere? Unless these are professional designers of photographers, individuals will carry on a double workload. No offense to anyone in these professions, but freelancers, writers, designers, and photographers are low salary jobs. If you look on the bright side, you will see college students have the chance to snag some job experience. Student Jonathan Cavallone goes more in depth by stating “working for free in a field you are trying to gain experience with can prove to be very useful. In college, there are numerous different internship opportunities some of them being paid and others being unpaid. Typically, if a student has a decent amount of experience, the company will pay them quite nicely. Getting paid while gaining experience in a specific field is extremely beneficial because not only are you being paid, but you are also gaining experience in a specific field adding to your capabilities. Internships are the best way for students to learn how to do a job and use things they learn in school in the real world. However, if a student does not have any experience, and just has a college degree on their resume, an employer will most likely look over them. Some companies will offer unpaid internships to those who are less experienced. Most people would deny an offer to work for free because they feel it is a waste of their time. As a result, instead of gaining experience in a specific field for example, finance, a student would rather work at McDonald’s for nine dollars an hour instead of gaining knowledge. This is an extremely ignorant decision and does not factor in the long term. Smart people will always consider the long term effects of making a decision before acting.” This free work idea is beneficial to college students who want to get a jump start on their careers, build their resume, or get an edge over their competition.
    Although the article states working free is nice in regards to enhancing your skills, individuals also need to sign away your copyright or else you lose credit. The article mentions working free doesn’t mean you should give away your upsides. Individuals get to exercise the power of “no” with their publishings. I like these two line: “they can’t publish you better than you can publish yourself. The legacy of your work down the road will be related to the quality of the work you do today”. Student John Zarro explores these future ideas. He states “’what happens in the future is a “direct result of what happens now.’ Once again, I agree with this statement because it symbolizes simple cause and effect. For example, if I do not study I will have a poor grade in return. If the freelancer does not do what he/she is supposed to now, the future will not be bright because it is a direct result. With any career, in order to be where one wants to be one must do everything needed to be done in order to reach a certain goal. In life, there are no shortcuts. All in all, when something is easy it usually isn’t worth it and that’s something I’ve learned in my life so far being only 19.” It is important to create a brand for yourself. Working free allows freelancers to do so.

  25. Austin O'Reilly February 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Being enrolled in Seton Hall University has many advantages to it; one of the advantages of the school is its internships. The school and the University takes pride in how many internships are available to the students that enroll at the school. Being a freshman, I have not taken an internship yet, but will be soon. I want to get an internship, to learn and gain experience. Godin explains how there are many companies who would be willing to take your work in exchange for the worker to gain exposure to a field. Working for free sucks at times, because you may feel as if your time is worth more than nothing. This is true, but you putting in time at a company shows how committed you are and that you can make sacrifices for your job. Once you put in your time by working for free, you will have a resume that shows your work experience. When you apply for another internship, they will see that you have experience and can talk to your last employer on how good of a job you have done. If you worked hard and diligently, then your next job opportunity will most likely pay you and pay you well. Without the internships, it is very hard for employers to see what you are capable of. Think of an unpaid internship as an investment for yourself. You are sacrificing a working wage, in order to gain knowledge in a certain field. In the long run, this experience will set your apart from other competitors as well as give you knowledgeable information and experience. This investment for yourself will pay itself off in the future as well as make your resume more impressive. If you did not see an unpaid internship as an investment and you got a minimum wage paying job instead of taking the unpaid internship you have made a mistake. You short term benefits will be the money you made during that period of time, but you would have sacrificed all of the knowledge and experiences you could have had. In order to succeed and make yourself look better than your competitors you will need as much experience as possible.
    Throughout my life I have been mentored by the people around me who have been saying that an internship gets your foot in the door. Once your foot is in the door, you have to work very hard in order to make yourself stand out. Once you stand out and get recognized for your work, there will most likely be a reward, if not compensation for your work. From here, you must work even harder to do better and more than you have done before. You cannot settle with your accomplishment, you have to be thinking of what you are going to do next, or what you are going to start. Once you set your goals, you have then accomplish them. Your success will be recognized in a company and your hard work will pay off as your salary will increase with each huge success you have. This short article shows how working for free can lead to great things over time and have a very big influence on your life in the long run.

  26. hannah deppen February 24, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    In seth’s blog, he discusses how freelance work is become more and more common. A freelancer is a “person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.” This type of job is attractive to so many people, because it allows the worker to decide their own outcome. Their work is solely their own work, and they are in charge of their time and work. I believe that this pushes workers to do their absolute best because they are a single, direct representation of their work. Freelance workers do not have a company to fall back on and blame for any bad work they do. As Seth says, “the clients you get in the future will be the direct result of the clients you take today”. This is why it freelance workers need to put in their best effort. It is harder to get future clients if they did a horrible job on pervious jobs.
    Depending on freelancing for your main source of income is riskier than an actual job. Seth pointed out that your work is at the mercy of the customer. Because of that, freelancers can easily get their work stolen, or go unpaid. I think that freelancers should establish some sort of contract to ensure that the rights to their work, is given to them. It is also difficult to draw the line when it comes to pay. In the beginning of a freelancers career, it is easy to get your name out there by doing work for free. It may get your name out there; however, it is easier to get taken advantage of. Companies may take the free work and continue using your work. That is why I think it is important to establish some sort of contract to ensure that this does not happen.
    Freelancing would be a perfect job for those who need flexibility in their job. Since you control your hours, you can decide when you want to work and when you do not. You can also decide to only do what you like. There is no pressure to do a job that you do not enjoy. There are many benefits to freelancing, and that is why it has been more popular.

  27. Nick Shervanian February 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    Not many people like the idea of working for free. People believe that if they do a job, there should be some sort of compensation for their action. Even if it is not money, people except something back. Working for free, however, does not mean that the individual is not gaining anything in return. There are plenty of forms of payment besides money, but there is also a more psychological gift that is given. An example could be volunteering at a hospital. This is something people do out of the goodness of their hearts and because they want to help people, not because they want money. They enjoy helping people get healthy and making people happy. You will never forget this experience. Obviously, the hospital benefits financially, but that is not the main goal of the volunteer experience. You learn so much in your volunteer experience. You are fed with knowledge that you will never forget and that will benefit you forever. There is always something for you to learn. A lot of internships given to students do not pay money and that is not popular among the students. The experience that they receive should be just as valuable. If the internship is in the right field that they want to be in, then the internship will help them make more money in the long run. Without the knowledge that you receive from your internship experience, you wont be able to make it in that field so there will be no future or any hope for a payment. The people who end up successful do not worry about the quick return. They are only focused on the long term success of their career. Seth Godin talks about the publication of free work leads to more freedom from limits imposed by businesses. Nobody ever really works for free, as there is always knowledge to be remembered.

  28. Ryan Appello February 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    The importance of freelancers is undeniable to the work force of our nation. Artists, photographers, writers, and so many different people depend on freelance work to get their careers started. It is important for these people to understand that isn’t about the terms of the work you’re doing but the quality of the work. If these people do their best work when it counts, when they’re doing their freelance work, then people will see how high quality it is in the future. The article says that they must do their work in a way that people will miss it if its gone.

    The article talks at large about the idea that these people do not have to sign away all of their rights and recognition to their employers. I believe this is true. It is these peoples rights to take credit for their work so that they can gain exposure that will allow them to move forward in life. It isn’t fair to them when a company wants to give them no credit and take full ownership of these peoples works. To counter this, the work they do must be so well done that the company has no choice but to follow the freelancers terms. The point of freelancing isn’t to make money, clearly. It’s to hone ones skills and get much needed practice while gaining important exposure that will help them down the line. However, they shouldn’t be taken advantage of all the time like in the ways described. It is so important that the quality of the work outweighs the terms of the work. This way, an employer will be forced to possibly give some recognition, especially if the work warrants it. Essentially, the quality of the work can be used as leverage against the employer to give into the terms of the freelancer. This is only done for the benefit of the freelancer. If they get credit for their work, other employers will recognize it and the possibility opens up for an actual, stable job. No one can live as comfortably doing freelance work for their entire lives than they would if they had actually employment. It must be extremely terrifying for these people to not know when their next paycheck will come in. So, they should at least have some benefit from the job, which can come in the way of increased recognition for their works. The most important part of this for the freelancer is the overall quality of their work. If it isn’t that great, they wont be able to fight for recognition or credit. However, if they take it seriously and do their best work, they will have a reason to push for their rights. These people work hard to make a living, and they shouldn’t be robbed of one of their only chance to eventually improve their lives in the form of a stable job. They should fight for their work by making sure they do their best for it to be missed if its gone.

  29. Jiaqi Ma February 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Working for free is a common phenomenon in freelancers, writers, and photographers. I once had a part-time job as a model. When I first came into this field, I had to prepare a resume. My resume consisted of various artistic photos. You could send your resume to your clients. However, the expenditure of taking artistic photos is expensive. Therefore, many cinematographers who enter this field newly are willing to take a picture of models for free. As the reward, the photographer who takes photos for you could use your photo as an advertisement. It seems like it benefits for both parties. However, Seth Godin gave us a very interesting point: “working for free, but working for yourself.” He tries to convince us that you have the right to say: No! If you were a writer, you can say “no” when they want to change your work without your consent. Many have to fight their ground if they really want ot excel in their career, despite the difficulty. I totally agree with him. Sometimes, the transaction between you and the publisher is not fair. The publisher will use producer’s mentality to make a deal. They will change your idea to meet their needs. But you cannot say no to be famous. Therefore, you should not only consider popularity but also you should thinking about your career. For example, if the publisher publishes your book without your consent, which will make readers misunderstand your ideology, you should give up. I remember there was a news, which is there is a man who fascinated about the tattoo. He found a tattoo artist. Because he does not have enough money to hire this artist, they made a deal. They artist make a tattoo for free, as the reward, the skin on his back with tattoo belongs to this artist. The artist spends two years on this tattoo, then the worst situation occured. The tattoo on his back had become a work of art, which even showed on Modern Art Museum in New York! The artist shows his production all over the world’s museum. His job consisted of him sitting there for a couple of hours. Nobody would talk with him. Even there is a new buyer about this tattoo, so now the skin in his body belongs to the new buyer. I forgot the buyer’s name and where the story happened, but it is a true story and it remind us do not scarify your career or your freedom just for popularity and the things that you like. Furthermore, it is dangerous things. You accredit publisher using your photos, but maybe you won’t know what things they will do with your photo. Maybe they will use your photo as an advertisement of plastic surgery, which you never did. Therefore, we should be more careful about this kind of opportunity. Working for yourself, it is the courage and the attitude that is responsible for oneself first. Although it may be appealing to have certain services free, one must be careful and read the fine print for the service provided.

  30. Caroline Massa March 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    I like this article because Seth Godin shares a message that people can and should take control of their work and career. It is a very uplifting and motivating idea that can serve people well as they are navigating their professional life. However, I question just how effective it is for the majority of people who need the guidance and expertise of other people. As a young person just starting a career or even someone doing something different, it is often difficult to know all of the nuances required to do a job completely by yourself. Think about the many books whose authors acknowledge various people for their contributions. Most of them credit not only their family, but editors, researchers and their publisher for helping them get their book published. While some people may be able to be successful without the help of others, I believe it is pretty difficult. Godin is right that “it’s your destiny and you should own it.” This a wonderful philosophy to have and really applies to life in general. People need to own their destiny in everything they do, both personally and professionally, because ultimately we are all responsible for our own successes and failures. People have to be responsible for their career, but sometimes it is helpful to have others who can help you on your journey. This is the same in one’s personal life, taking well meaning advice and guidance can be invaluable, because sometimes people can make a tremendous difference in helping you achieve your goals.

    With all of the different platforms available to writers today, I can understand why Godin feels that people can write and publish their own material. The internet gives people the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas easier than ever before. This is a great thing for both writers and readers, the internet offers such a wide range of platforms for authors to participate and readers to enjoy. While there are some very talented people, there are also those who are not as strong a writer as they believe they are. While this does not mean to suggest that they do not have something to offer, it does mean that if they are looking to improve or be successful, then they could benefit from other people’s expertise. Just because you write and publish your own material does not make you a great writer. It makes you a published writer and there is a difference. Godin also points out that there are a lot of dishonest people who offer to take your work without giving proper credit. This is a different story, because no one should be able to take someone else’s material and publish it as their own. On the other hand some people just want the satisfaction of knowing their work has been published and are willing to give up their rights. They do not need the attention or acknowledgement, but are just satisfied to have their work published. Maybe they could have published their material on their own and had the same success and this is what Godin is referring to but they chose not to. There are many reasons why people may want or can benefit from other people’s assistance. In the end it truly depends on the person and what their objectives are. There are always those exceptional people who can manage by themselves and accomplish their goals completely on their own. However I think that the majority people can use some assistance along the way and they just have to understand and be comfortable with the cost of this help. Whether its credit, money or something else, the important thing is to make the right decision that will give you what you want and help you to achieve your goals.

  31. Matthew Radman March 24, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

    Entrepreneurship in the US has been on a significant upswing in recent years. After the 2008 recession, people have taken their career more into their hands. Many people felt betrayed by the large banks who lost millions for the average American consumer. As the economy recovers, people feel like now is a great time to pursue their passions. All of this coincides with a rise in freelancing. Entrepreneurship and freelancing are types of employment which give people the most control over their futures. Ina climate when people are more concerned than every about building and maintaining a personal brand, these two fit in nicely.

    Building a personal brand is important. The economy is in uncertain times as technology changes entire industries. After being left in the cold of 2008, many have taken the initiative to decide their future. Countless professors and advisors in college will always remind students of the importance of personal branding effectiveness.

    Freelancing has been set up for success in what is known as the “gig economy.” Investopedia defines gig economy as an economy where ” temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace, and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.” The gig economy promotes companies like Uber, Lyft, and AirB&B. This type of work is the work of the future. Whether a person drives for Uber or Lyft as a part-time job or rents their house when their away home, the gig economy allows for flexibility above all else. This flexibility allows people to maximize their utility value in the labor market. However, the gig economy works most effectively when a person is effectively able t brand themselves. Freelancers need to keep in mind that not only are they selling their products, but they are selling themselves. This sounds corny, but it is real and vital to anyone who works for themselves; in the future, that could be a large bulk of the workforce.

    Freelancing is truley freeing. It also could be the future of work. The economy is changing becaus eof technology and therefore the abor market is changing to adapt and work with that technology. Often times freelancers and entrepanuers are aided by technology as it allows them to sell their products or services with minimum barriers to entry. technology has promoted an abundance of resorces. Software costs nothing to produce after initial investment and is part of why it is growing so rapidlly. This type of work is less secure, sure. But the flexibility offered is bar none. That flexibility make speole less reliant on their primary incomes and allows people to specialize in things tht they are passionate about. The key to finding sucess in this new economy is to become an expert in self-branding. Ignoring the cliches, selling yourslef is vital in an economy that will become inatley less secure. However, the flexibiility offered by freelancing and entrepaneurship opens up the ceilings for many adverage Americans. Ultimatley, the economy will evolve to become more dynamic and more specialized. Freelancing is the future, soon, most Americans will be working for free but working for themselves.

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